This May, Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Technology, introduced the Natural Hazards Reduction Act of 2013 to reauthorize the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP).
NEHRP was established in 1977 to help monitor and mitigate the effects of earthquakes. NEHRP has been reviewed and reauthorized 11 times since its inception. It was last reauthorized in 2004.
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) examined the probability of hurricane-induced coastal change on sandy beaches from Florida to New York in two first-ever studies released at the beginning of the month. Both reports – one examining beaches from Florida to North Carolina, the other beaches from Virginia to New York – can be used by community planners and emergency managers to make better informed decisions about coastline vulnerability and ways to deal with it.
Colorado Senators Mark Udall and Michael Bennet introduced legislation September 24th to lift a $100 million cap on federal highway emergency relief funds after massive floods severely damaged or destroyed more than 21,000 homes, 50 bridges, and killed at least 9 people in Colorado. The bill, the Deficit Neutral Infrastructure Disaster Relief Act, would take already appropriated money to fund the increase. A similar bill will reportedly be submitted on the House side, as well.
On June 13, 2013, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs held a legislative hearing on H.R. 553, H.R. 1308, H.R. 1399, H.R. 1425, H.R. 1491, and H.R. 2219.
On June 5, 2013, the House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittees on Research and Technology held a joint hearing on federal efforts to reduce the impacts of windstorms. The hearing reviewed the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Act Reauthorization of 2013 (H.R. 1786), highlighted the role of science and engineering research in mitigating windstorm impacts, and explored ways of implementing research results to create more resilient communities.